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The idea of studying abroad is different and hard to explain. You make life-long friends in a matter of three or four months. You connect with people on a new level, you’re experiencing the same things for the first time, and allowing yourself to open up to people that would be considered acquaintances in the real world. However, this experience changes everything. You live together, you eat together, you travel together, and so much more. How are you expected to say bye to these people? Not even knowing when you’ll get to see them again.

It is quite sad really, people start counting down the days when we still have weeks before we leave. People started getting upset that it was our last trip together when we went to Barcelona with our program. This was in early November, and we leave on December 15th. Of course it’s understandable to see and understand where they are coming from, it’s an emotional experience. To put it in perspective, if we did want to meet up when we got back, it would take a minimum of six months to plan, and even then there’s no way would be able to coordinate everyone to meet up on the same date. You can hope that staying in touch over the phone will keep you close, but that always gets harder once schedules start clashing, time zones get in the way, and the obvious fact that you just can’t see each other whenever you please.

Having said that, there is nothing I would change about this semester. I wouldn’t change the location, nor the people that I’ve met, for anything. It’s incredible to think that if we all didn’t choose this program, during this semester, in this year, we probably would have never even come close to meeting each other, and now we consider each other best friends. From day one there was an instant connection, something that went unsaid, but let us know we would get along. The addition of people to the group never changed the dynamic of the group, it only brought us closer together. It is a harsh reality realizing that our time together is coming to an end. The friendships that have been made don’t feel like friendships anymore, it feels like family. It’s experiences like these that make me appreciate life. For the longest time I thought the reason I fell in love with Spain was for the country, but as it gets closer to the end, I realize it’s the people on this journey that has taken hold of my heart. They are the type of people you’d travel across the world to see and do anything to make time for. I don’t know what is in-store for our futures, but what I do know is that I will cherish every moment I have with these people. I can’t thank this group enough for everything they’ve done for me. They’ve made me laugh to the point of tears, they’ve expanded my mind from different experiences and cultures that they’ve been raised by, and they made me feel a level of comfort that usually takes years to attain. I would do anything for this family, and I can only hope that other people studying abroad experience something similar.

Last modified: November 28, 2018